Shifting from employee to manager can be easy for some people, but overwhelming for others. Either way, no one starts off as the perfect manager. No matter how much you’ve prepared and worked for your new position, there’s still a lot to learn. Here are 10 leadership tips every new manager should know. For starters, you should recognize that you’ve earned your position and someone saw great managerial qualities in you. Now, let’s get you prepped to be an excellent manager!
The Learning Process has Just Begun
All those years of hard work and dedication are the reason you are where you are today. You’ve proven your knowledge and expertise and now it’s your turn to be a manager in your field. But, just because you have a new title doesn’t mean the ethic of teamwork goes out the door. If anything, being a manager involves more teamwork on your end. Get ready to learn from everyone in your office, especially, your new team and direct reports.
Communication is Key
We’ve all heard this one before, but communication with your co-workers is vital to your success as a manager. Not only will this assist in establishing your credibility, but it will also help you gain the support of your team. Make sure you’re fully informed about what projects are on the agenda for the week and what priorities and deadlines are coming up. Knowing this information will help you understand what your team’s schedule looks like, as well as areas where you may need to step in to help.
Lead by Example
Your employees will look up to you as a role model. Set a good example by abiding by the same level of professionalism that you expect from them. If you expect them to dress professionally, you should look professional as well! If you’re a stickler for being on time, make it a point to start meetings on time. In the end, it’s these small actions that can make the biggest difference.
Every employee loves an open and honest workplace, but sometimes people have difficulty speaking up about certain issues. As a manager, your team’s feedback and input should be important. If you have an open door policy, make sure your employees know you’ll make time for them. Set expectations about your time. For example: I will be available from 10-10:30 and 2-3:30 each day if you need to stop by for feedback. This way your team will recognize your willingness to listen and be a part of the solution.
Celebrating and publicly announcing the achievements and efforts of your employees is a great way to build their confidence and keep them motivated. Not every effort requires a huge celebration or award, but praise and positive feedback should be a part of your daily interactions with your team. Sending an email or handwritten note recognizing an employee for a job well done offers immediate feedback and serves as a record of their accomplishment.
A great leader needs to make decisions and stand by them. Your employees will not feel confident with a manager who doesn’t know what they want. Let them know when you need more time for deliberation and when they can expect a decision.
Everyone is a Part of the ‘Big Picture’
It’s important that your team is aware of their impact on the company. Make sure to show how their efforts help contribute to the organization’s objectives. For example, if the goal is to increase sales and they are spending more time cold calling or in the field, then there is a connection. When they realize the weight of their actions on overall company goals, they will be motivated to put forth their best work.
Create an Environment of Growth
Encouraging growth within your team is always beneficial. Support them in taking on new tasks and experimenting with new methods. When things don’t go as planned, rather than dwelling and focusing on their failures, use them as learning opportunities. This will inspire your employees to continue striving for new, innovative techniques.
Be There for Professional Guidance
Good managers and leaders also act as mentors to their employees. Career growth is a priority for employees, so make yourself available and show them you’re interested in their development within the organization. A study done by the Society of Human Resources in May reported that job seekers looked for promotional opportunities and job growth above all else when considering a company. Never underestimate the power of positive encouragement and feedback. Your employees will truly appreciate your interest in their development and growth.
Last but not least, be patient! Managerial skills are not acquired overnight. In the meantime, as your skills are being developed, don’t be shy to seek guidance from your colleagues and coworkers. Don’t worry about looking weak or unprepared. Learning from other leaders will help form you into a truly great manager.
Don’t forget to come back and share your story with us. We want to know how these tips and/or other tips have helped you on your road to managerial success.